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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  December 16, 2014 12:00pm-2:01pm EST

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face definitely includes those sorts of self starting, sometimes random attacks. >> we're going to leave this life meeting in london for a house of moments as the gavels in. there standing by waiting for he senate to complete its work. the speaker pro tempore: the house will come to order. the chair lays before the house a communication from the speaker. the clerk: the speaker's rooms, washington, d.c. december 16, 2014. i hereby appoint the honorable randy neugebauer to act as speaker pro tempore on this
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day. signed, john a. boehner, speaker of the house of representatives. the speaker pro tempore: the prayer will be offered by guest dominican house of studies, washington, d.c. the chaplain: dear god, as we enter a time of expectation and new beginnings, help us to direct our minds towards the things that will last. let us be attentive to why we act and what we seek and how we want our last days to be spent. give us the space to rest this season in this cell of self-knowledge. remove the curtains of ignorance that shield us from the light of faith. open us to tran sendent wisdom and enlighten the dark corners of our neglected hearts and
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scatter their your cheerful means. amen. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to section 3-a of house resolution 775, the journal of the last day's proceedings is approved. the chair will lead the house in the pledge of allegiance. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the speaker pro tempore: the chair lays before the house sundry communications. the clerk: the honorable the speaker, house of representatives. sir, pursuant to the permission granted in clause 2-h of rule 2 of the rules of the u.s. house of representatives, the clerk received the following message from the secretary of the senate on december 12, 2014, at clop 20 p.m. that the senate passed without amendment house concurrent
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resolution 121. that the senate passed without amendment house concurrent resolution 123. that the senate concurs in the house amendment to the senate amendment h.r. 3979. with best wishes i am signed incerely, karen l. haas. the honorable the speaker, house of representatives, sir. pursuant to the permission granted in clause 2-h of rule 2 of the rules of the u.s. house of representatives, the clerk received the following message from the secretary of the senate on december 13, 2014, at 4:25 p.m. that the senate agreed to without amendment house joint resolution 131. with best wishes i am signed sincerely, karen l. haas. the honorable the speaker, house of representatives. sir, pursuant to the permission granted in clause 2-h of rule 2 of the rules of the u.s. house
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of representatives, the clerk received the following message from the secretary of the senate on december 15, 2014, at 8:56 a.m., that the senate agreed to without amendment house concurrent resolution 122. that the senate agrees to the house amendment to the senate amendment to the bill h.r. 83. with best wishes i am signed incerely, karen l. haas. the honorable the speaker, house of representatives. sir, pursuant to the permission granted in clause 2-h of rule 2 of the rules of the u.s. house of representatives, the clerk received the following message from the secretary of the senate on december 15, 2014, at 9:55 a.m. that the senate passed without amendment h.r. 2591. that the senate passed without amendment h.r. 5859.
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with best wishes i am, signed incerely, karen l. haas. the honorable the speaker, house of representatives. sir, pursuant to the permission granted in clause 2-hcht of rule 2 of the rules of the u.s. house of representatives, the clerk received the following message from the secretary of the senate on december 16, 2014, at 9:03 a.m. that the senate passed without amendment h.r. 2754. that the senate passed without amendment h.r. 3572. that the senate passed without amendment h.r. 1206. that the senate passed without amendment h.r. 1378. that the senate passed without amendment h.r. 5050. that the senate passed without amendment h.r. 5185. that the senate passed without amendment h.r. 5816. that the senate passed senate
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706. that the senate passed without amendment h.r. 3027. that the senate passed without amendment h.r. 4416. that the senate passed without amendment h.r. 4651. that the senate passed without amendment h.r. 5331. that the senate passed without amendment h.r. 5562. that the senate passed without amendment h.r. 4276. that the senate passed without amendment h.r. 5687. with best wishes i am, signed sincerely, karen l. haas. the honorable the speaker, house of representatives, sir, pursuant to the permission granted in clause 2-h of rule 2 of the rules of the u.s. house of representatives, the clerk received the following message from the secretary of the senate on december 16, 2014, at
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10:57 a.m. that the senate passed without amendment h.r. 2901. that the senate passed without amendment h.r. 1068. that the senate passed with an amendment h.r. 2866. that the senate passed senate 1744. with best wishes i am, signed sincerely, karen l. haas. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to clause 4 of rule 1, the following enrolled joint resolution and bills were signed by the speaker pro tempore wolf on friday, december 12, 2014. the clerk: house joint esolution 131, h.r. 2640, h.r. 4771, .r. 3329, h.r. r. 5057, senate 1353, senate
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1474. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the house adjourns today -- when the house adjourns today it shall adjourn to meet on noon on friday, december 19, 2014, unless sooner has received a message from the senate transmitting its adoption of house concurrent resolution 125 in which case the house shall stand adjourned pursuant to the concurrent resolution. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, pursuant to the order of the house today, the house stands adjourned until noon on friday, december 19, 2014, unless it sooner has received a message from the senate transmitting its adoption of house concurrent resolution 125, in which case the house shall stand adjourned pursuant to the concurrent resolution.
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forma session today. members have completed their work for the 113th congress and are standing by the defendant to wrap up. the housemates on january 2 at 1 p.m. eastern to officially adjourn and complete the 113th congress. back now to the british liaison committee, where prime minister aboutcameron is talking climate change and his response to extremism. live coverage here on c-span. >> it is not just in areas of the country that are high risk, or is too since, but everybody. it is schools, colleges, and friendly, some of these organizations have been too relaxed about it. some colleges have thought there was a bit of extremist preaching or not, but it's free speech and what's the problem? actually, it is a problem. >> [indiscernible] >> to what sense is
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degrading and destroy nice in iaq and syria -- destroying sil in iraq and syria a priority for unesco -- for you? it with usseen robbins melia and in other places, but its biggest iteration is in iraq and syria isil. the differences, it's not a terrorist body that is looking for a host, but one that is running a state that has money, land, weapons, all of it. we cannot deal with the terrorist narrative endlessly quite aggressively deal with isil. it is a priority. we just had a meeting with the
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security council this afternoon to do with it. we need a multiyear strategy to help the regional players in the key countries to eradicate this organization. it can be done. in thecan we make sure coalition that we don't end up just saying, well, it the iraqi lead, and the united states is doing a great deal and we are just a small part in the coalition and we will do a tiny part, but we will not really take a big view on the mission or strategy? how will we make sure we grip this? given the kinetic action, the bombing that has been done of isil positions in iraq, britain has taken the second-largest role and has done five times as much as france. way,ld put it in a simple which is this alliance has a strategy that is very simple and
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straightforward. we want a government in iraq and the government in syria that are capable of represented all -- representing all of the people of those countries, and have security forces that can keep the security and stability of those countries and not allow terrorists to try. that is the aim. it could take many years. britain do to make the realization of the strategy more likely ecco and what are the thegs we need to do -- realization of the strategy more likely? doing that it we are will make us less likely ecco what can we do in terms of strategy? health -- help prime minister of body do all the things he says he's going to do? what can we do to put pressure on the regime for a transition government? we should not just tried to do a
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bit of everything. we should work out where britain has expertise and some heft that we can bring to bear. and i'm sure that is where your committee will be very helpful. but the situations in prisons, situations in prison, we get a lot of returnees from syria. we add to the problem of radicalization in prison. that peopleevidence became radicalized in prison? >> i think the answer to that is yes. is that thereng are several hundred people in prison who were not arrested or terrorist offenses, but who nonetheless have been with the extremist,
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islamist narrative. it is a problem. it has gotten so it is being invented. i think it would be wrong to say that all over the country prison imams are doing a terrible job. no, they are not. they are doing a great job. need to work out which programs of the radicalization are working best and will amount in all our prisons. radicalization are working best and roll them out in all our prisons. and it's not surprising that we see it on some universities and in some countries and colleges. it is unfortunate that it happens in prison where we are responsible for people, but it has and we to deal with it. how are we prepared to change the narrative?
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it is not the narrative from genuine islam. it leaves a real challenge. that? l you do cuts my understanding is that we are. there is a particular course that is educating prisoners in experience in the muslim faith and tackling head on some of the sentiments that they might espouse. you have the different presentations, prisons, colleges, universities. each one of them, and might not be their highest priority. their highest priority is making -- but they know they have to report back to me on the action on this agenda. >> the sunday times has recently reported that the secretary has taken away an entire families
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, 22 passports removed from the whole family. is that what we are going to do in the future in an attempt to try to stop people returning to our country ecco not just -- to our country? not just those involved directly, but everyone in the family perspective of what they have done? quest i don't know the details of this particular case, but i would say that -- >> i don't know the details of this particular case, but i would say that she is looking at the advice given and looking at what is appropriate and proportionate and then carrying it out. she knows that the first thing to do mind is to keep the country safe. exclusion temporary with the spill that is going , are you alsoment satisfied to have the cooperation of those countries you go -- of those countries?
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that theatisfied foreign governments will keep them and often them back to britain? this withdiscussed the turks when i was there recently. i am hopeful that we will get the agreement we need. but the bigger point is, what are we trying to do? powers to get a suite of necessary to keep people safe. sometimes that involves protecting people in their homes, protecting them when they travel, sometimes at the border. i would think with someone who is taking a returning to britain, well, you cannot come back until we are set is i -- satisfied that we can keep in place finishers we need to keep you safe. obviously, that puts pressure on us. but -- >> will they say to us
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when we say we do not want particular citizens returned because they may be a danger? afraid we often have a situation where we have prisoners i would happily put on a plane tomorrow and send back to these countries, but for all sorts of reasons they don't want to take them. i think it's very important that we are very robust and that -- in that, and we were to keep our country safe. collect as far as research being key to addressing the course of extremism in iraq, are you confident that we have put adequate resources into the intelligence offices? the diplomats, the intelligence officers, to achieve that understanding of the drive?
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was asked this question by the security council today. i think the answer is, well, look, the intelligence services are doing exactly this. this shiftingace threat pattern and try to establish themselves where they are most needed. up to now, they had a very big focus on afghanistan and pakistan. that is where until recently, the majority of the plots were coming from. now they need to readjust. i would say they are was in good work being done, but more needs to be done. the turkish regional government has been important. and there is a hard-working team in baghdad. we have a lot of military intelligence liaison going on. i have met with president of di about it.
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but if you are to say the government and the military of the country -- and a lot of this is about politics, i completely agree. where ourshould ask expertise is," what we can add to the predominantly american effort. expertise, and what can we add to the ly american effort? class although it is too early to say that all the list have although it that >> is to really to say that all of the lessons have been learned, i was told that they did not get out of control in sierra leone because if they did, it would have been disastrous. of course, it was. monrovia, it-- in
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was not under control. there were those who were pleading for international help and for help from the who and raising the told not to get too alarmist. legacy,ccept that as a we have to look at whether the who is fit for purpose. it is a real question here. why was the world not faster in responding to ebola? becauseg about it is it's not airborne. it is passed by touch. if you get hold of the cooker, you should be able to snuff out -- get hold of it more quickly, you should be able to snuff out the spread. to learnk we need lessons. what we need is a standing team of epidemiologist, if that's the right word, an expert to be flown into the country to assess how bad a problem is.
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chandler does a great job, but it does have some challenges. --is a regional organization how can i put it? is not the fastest moving. it does not function very well. we could spend the rest of our lives trying to fix the to berate show and not get very far. i think the answer is to figure who andrying to fix the not get very far. i think the answer is to figure out what we can bolt onto it. other countries doing some very good work, but taking longer than i think the assessment is not get done fast enough. >> in sierra leone, we have responded. do you recognize that in the process we are not capable of withstanding the development of ebola, and therefore what we need to do is ensure a legacy of
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a much stronger health system that would be capable of doing so? there are significant numbers of andra leonians working would be much better deployed in sierra leone. and working with nhs, they can help strengthen those systems for mutual benefit. one of the things that came out was the nhs had a huge capacity to work. >> i agree with all of that, and i think there will come a moment where we should be planning for -- or once we get the thing under control, is on a downward trajectory. and then one of the legacy things we've should try to -- we should try to leave behind is to help sierra leone have a better future. still, the tragedy in this case is, as i say, if you get an outbreak, if you act quickly, you can deal with the pastor.
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that -- deal with it faster. that is the real lesson. we got to stay on top of this, because the figures have not yet showed a response in terms of reducing infection rates. >> why has the world not moved faster he echoed the risk has been known for many years. -- not moved faster? the risk has been known for many years. must close u k, we down flights and often their people into danger. when that is perhaps the battleground where the problem will be addressed and saved. we have changed fundamentally the way in which government
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handles scientific advice in emergencies. but don't you think there are lessons to be learned about the system that did not kick in fast enough? when with the scientific knowledge we had, we should have been prepared and much more alert to this developing risk. -- will looktion prime minister look again at how we draw scientific information into the emergency planning procedures so that we are proactive, not reactive? >> i will surely do that. i may stand to be corrected, but -- i't think there was don't know how to put this. i don't want to say something that is wrong.
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i think the whole world was a bit slow to wake up to this. everyone knew it was a problem, but i think everyone just sort of assumed that the who and all these words of things, and they don't necessarily. were there teams of scientists knocking on my door saying, quick, we need to it up to these problems? they were there. what we need is the kind of combination of political action and scientific advice. i think we would be wrong to think that all cobra does is meet, listen to the scientist, and do what they say. .hat is not the role scientists will advise you about what works, what doesn't work, what they think it's a scientifically feasible. politicians have to make decisions, because you are not just dealing with science. sometimes you are dealing with problems of public deception, sometimes even public panic. you need to understand the context in which you are operating. whether it was in fukushima or japan, or whether it was dealing
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with ebola or other scientific-based problems, we listened to the scientific advice and try to follow it when we can, specifically when it was the chief medical officer. knowing how to take into account how the public will react, how to explain this, the politician has a job. >> i don't want you to misunderstand. i'm certainly not criticizing sally davis. i think she did a fabulous job. but the fact is, the system does not proactively suck in information from expert groups out there about risks around the world. that have been known about for some time. it is a weakness in the system. issue is note sucking in the information. i think the issue here was there was too long a delay between
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people seeing that ebola was taking off, and sort of the big executive action that was required. think obama was one of the first politicians to spot the scale of this problem and address it. but i think we all -- one of the lessons is, when these things happen, you cannot act too fast. >> i wish you and your family, and indeed, my colleagues a very happy christmas. [bell] >> saved by the bell. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] >> this is the last of three regular appearances the register make before the end of the year. former prime minister tony blair started the tradition. you can watch the again later today on c-span.
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and the prime minister will be in the house of commons tomorrow for prime minister's questions, questions.ers this will be the final question session of the year. live coverage is underway at the clock on our companion -- at 7:00 eastern on our companion network on c-span2. createoday, an effort to ebola vaccines. among the speakers, dr. anthony county of the niaid. afternoonbe live this starting at 3:00 eastern here on c-span. and it looks like florida governor jeb bush is getting a little more serious about running for president in 2016. he tweeted this out in -- this morning. i will explore running for president and in january i will
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establish a political pac to answer this question. robert ford outline with a geneva talk failed to bring a resolution to the fighting in syria, and said that russia could have been more helpful in moving the #'s government -- the tor al-assad's government the event. >> if you like the procession about iraq, you will want the second panel about syria. i was struck, given that both countries are going through difficult circumstances, at least in iraq there is a constitution and a government that has some power-sharing. there is order, to rushing.
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-- discussion. there is a lot of politicking going on. maybe those are discussions that should have happened a century ago when iraq was formed, but the discussion of who gets what, , those are finally taking place. and sadly, very little of that is taking place next door in syria. syria obviously has a very large isis problem, but it lacks an inclusive constitution and any government that shares any kind of power whatsoever. no up until today, there is political process that is gained traction, orined the various international efforts have been suspended for the time being. guatemala discussed a lot of these challenges and how syria might be able to move forward
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politically. we have four distinguished individuals. i will introduce them briefly at the beginning of the session and then we will hear from them individually before we get into a discussion. right, we start a syrian, currently visiting senior fellow for the center -- my mistake. senior program officer in the u.s. at the institute of peace. working on syria, she is the senior research assistant for public diplomacy. and she works at the center for world religions at george mason university. hinda has been spending the last in canss with refugees in the liberated areas of syria
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working on negotiation, conflict resolution, and other challenges facing the syrian population. ambassador robert ford with us today. ambassador ford is well-known to most of you. he is currently a senior fellow at the middle east institute, but of course, is a distinguished retired foreign service officer. and as you know, the last two and ambassador -- u.s. fromsador to syria 2010-14. he also served in iraq years prior to that and was ambassador to algeria. with a lot of experience in the region, but has worked on syria, and continues to do so very closely. to his right is dr. kenneth katzman. he is a senior analyst at the congressional research service. he focused on the goal, on iran, iraq, and has done extensive research in his writing.
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some of you might know his book islam:d "the warriors of iran's revolutionary guard." and finally, an old friend from turkey who is currently in washington. he is a visiting senior fellow at the center for progress in washington. he is also a regular columnist in turkey at two well-known newspapers there. between 2007-11, he was a member of parliament and was the spokesman for the parliament's foreign affairs committee and chairman of the turkey-u.s. interparliamentary friendship group. in 2014, he managed the local anktion campaign of the chp mayoral candidate. ar he comes with a lot ofa
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international and domestic experience. we're going to start and go in the order that i introduced. whoill start with hind, has been working very much on give us a in syria to bottom-up view of the mood there. obviously, the population is exhausted and facing many difficult challenges. but since this session is about truces, negotiations, reconciliation, what are the bottom-up pressures that are toting pressure on players either reached cease-fires, truces, or beyond that, local negotiations? reaching up through the larger efforts we are seeing today, for example, by the russians in an attempted dubbed moscow one meeting. i know you have some contacts there.
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if you could take eight to 10 minutes and give us your views about that range of issues. thank you. >> thank you very much. i promised myself six months ago when i moved to d.c. to speak on behalf of the people in syria. you don't hear their voices. i met a woman in jordan and she told me, it's so easy for me to see my son die in a chemical , but dying for -- from starvation. i want to speak of a and others on the ground. of her and others on the ground, and give you an idea of the negotiations from the bottom up. there are few negotiations happening.
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later, we can talk about the details if we have time. and going to tell you some examples while i'm explaining this. every truce or negotiation, that regime will like. because of the pressures, but also because of his interests. he doesn't care about anything else, only his interests. always of to the siege .f the city the people are so hungry. they go to the fighters and they say, we cannot the our kids dime. ng.our kids dyi
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in one area, that is where the source of water is for damascus. ago, there was no water in damascus for six days. and i got some water from a dear we have nothing here and we are sick and tired of the fighters and the regime. the regime, because of his interest to keep damascus and a suburb, and to go to even hom and later to build with hezbollah, he doesn't care about anything else. he cares about his interest and control damascus. damascus control is from the square to maliki. he wants control of all the suburbs, because for him, it's for his safety. not because he cares about people that are dying.
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the regime cares about his interests. --abija, because of these interests, and the regime is in the mountains, they should have an agreement. and there's a truce because the of the fighters stopping the water. area there is truce, but why? place ishe geographic close to the military hospitals and they need this because they can get access to the military hospitals. muchsador ford knows very the people. they're the ones who started the resistance. they are the ones who have the symbols 19. the people there, it is
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destroyed -- they are the ones who have the civil resistance. the people there, it is destroyed. the people there, we started helping them. they wanted to negotiate with the regime in august. in a way, we were like, just planning with them, because they were all students of mine. negotiate,refused to because he doesn't care about it. the first condition was to release the prisoners. we have no evidence they are still alive. to regime thinks, better keep the area under siege and we don't keep any truce with it or nothing. they look the same. happened after the
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starvation of the village. and there is always violation from the regime. there is always something happening on the ground. and there is always a collapse of agreement, and many times the releaseill not agree to the numbers of the prisoners that he promised. geographic is the issue. for me, it is different because of geographic interests for the regime. the truce is always fragile. froms i said, different place to place. the civilians are pressured. they won't fight because they are hungry.
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they want to go back home. and there was a challenge here. there in august and i'm sitting in an idp cap, the women, all they want is to go back home. -- in an idp camp. the women, they want to do is go back home, to bake their bread. they cannot see themselves living in the assad regime, because there is so much pain and destruction. this is the challenge from the bottom-up. always a big reason for people to make a negotiation. but we need to know that also there is a big problem if we except the truce and not think about the their picture in
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syria, the political solution. remember, the regime won't do anything without pressure. we need to pressure the regime not only to free aleppo and to have a truce, but we need to find a political solution for all syria. because all syrians are suffering. and believe it or not, even the ouetteweh -- the allen are suffering. much time do i have yucca >> three or four more minutes -- how much time do i have? >> three or four more minutes. sheikh madi is
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a friend and a moderate. in russia now, there is this sense of bringing the opposition together. this is russia who provided the syrian regime arms and used the syrianinst people. there are some ethical and moral problems here. and my going to go to russia to unite the opposition's? -- am i going to go to russia to unite the oppositions? this is a moral question here. like i'mant to sound always complaining. i don't want to complain. i just want to ask you all, ethically and morally, we need
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to do something. the syrian people are dying. and they are dying everyday, and there is some negotiation on the ground to survive, but we need do you want others to die while the war is watching ecco -- while the world is watching? me to keep political pressure on the regime to solve this syrian -- we need to keep political pressure on the regime to solve the syrian conflict. this needs to be a message to every dictator in the world, --'t worry, if the people this is sending a message to every dictator in the world, don't worry, if the people rise and ask for democracy, you can kill them and you will have power. >> the u.n. is proposing an
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aleppo freeze that is somehow different from other freezes and truces and it could become a process to become a platform. others say that is not the case. what views you have on that? >> for me now, after two years of death and destruction, of course, as a humans rights after just -- human rights activist my want this to stop. ask ourselves, if this is going to be one side -- we have to do win win. you cannot do it only with one side. you have to tell the people, this is the end of the bashar assad regime. they need to see the light at the end of the tunnel. ethically, they have to. and you don't want to pressure the moderate opposition now.
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-- there is lots of lots of civilian and other resistance. i was there with them in aleppo last year. a good job, but you don't hear about it, because you'll hear about war and death in the media. do we need to pressure them to ale with him was a -- with musra? this is a big question, because we don't know when we are going to be with you and when we will be without a dictator. if this is the reaction, the they might say, i would rather alwith al mistretta -- the site hasse killed my family. -- the #has killed my family.
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because bashar assad has killed my family. you cannot continue with a dictator like this. greg a year ago, the u.s. and russia were working -- >> a year the u.s. and russia were working on a common plan and that has collapsed. and we have seen some major efforts and that is splintering of effort, the u.n. working one direction and the -- russia in the other. of --u share with some with us some of your views why we failed and where we are today , and whether there is a path forward? >> yes. from sites graduated in 1984, and it's really nice to be back here, especially when i do not have to take a final exam.
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let me just say a couple of in answer to post question. i will talk a little bit about where the formal united nations efforts to get a comprehensive political solution ended in february and then how we got to the very capable you an ongoing cost efforts -- capable u.n. envoy's efforts to get a free. -- freeze. and then maybe talk about the challenges with taking that freeze effort into the broader political solutions. the russians have ideas and the iranians have ideas. to start with geneva, i was with secretary kerry for all of those efforts. ad the geneva process and in complete collapse in february. from the u.n.
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secretary-general ban ki-moon to the parties was to come to to discuss implementation of the june, 2012 geneva could communicate -- geneva communicate. and ban ki-moon specifically said, starting with the establishment of a transition government. itself, in geneva although the syrian delegation did come, headed by the u.n. ambassador, and an opposition delegation came, there was absolutely no progress. a couple of things on the delegation first. the opposition delegation was led by the political opposition, what they call the national opposition coalition. there were also medicine is of the armed opposition groups in geneva. they were staying in a hotel there. and the political people were in
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touch with the military people constantly, but there were no armed opposition figures at the negotiating table. they stayed in the background. frequently said to the political opposition, why should we talk you? you represent nothing. political opposition responded, no, no, we are in touch with the people on the ground and will coordinate with them. the regime was not interested. the political opposition in february, after the first round in january's total failure, the political opposition gave in writing to their envoy a written proposal that basically said -- if i can sum it up -- we are willing to negotiate a transition unity government and we are open to discuss all aspects of it, with the understanding that it has full executive authority and in line with the geneva communicate, and
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it did not -- communique, and it assad's removal. it said that they were willing to negotiate even that. thoughtican government that was very progressive, and i would say that the envoy did, too. however, the syrian delegation refused to discuss anything about a new government. they said they would only discuss security. the opposition said they were willing to discuss security on one track, as long as there was a parallel track simultaneous that discussed a transition's unity government. the syrian government delegation refused and the talks collapse. i have to say, i don't think we russians did very much to convince the syrian government to move and accept just a basic negotiation on a transition
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unity government in line with the imitation from ban ki-moon. had for calendar year a14 no additional efforts on political solution. and in the essence of that, there really is no way forward after the collapse of the geneva process. he was very brave to even take the job. basically aorward cease-fire proposal. there have been about three death of locally negotiated cease-fires, and only one of them has had any power. an a place that is a closed in suburb in damascus. the reason that one has stuck his the armed opposition fighters there, the moderate attached to the free syrian army, are actually pretty strong there and they control a road to the military hospital that the syrian regime really needs
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because they have a lot of casualties and they like the hospital. although now, i've heard there are problems even there. but the other roughly three dozen cease-fires locally have almost all collapsed. a report, which i would encourage the audience to a teamas put out by connected to the london school three weeks ago, and the failed drivers were the associated regime militias that constantly interrupted the flow of vitally needed food supplies into these districts where there was cease-fire. and there is no enforcement mechanism. i was very struck today by an article that appeared in the el hiattily newspaper who said that the plan, which has not been made public, but
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calls for a freeze, since he does not want to say cease-fire given the bad results elsewhere, a freeze would involve among other elements -- and this is according to al hayat. international observers would include some kind of enforcement mechanism not further identified, and a release of prisoners, which has been an element of other cease-fires. in europeght now is trying to gain european support for this some the european union countries, and he asked the deputy, a very polished egyptian diplomat who was just in time run -- in tehran today trying to get iranian support. we will see if there is any traction on this. there is no formal response from the syrian government or from the syrian opposition. if stephan can pull a rabbit out of the hat and get and aleppo
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we actuallywhich try to do in advance of the geneva talks in january last year and failed elderly -- failed utterly. the regimes that it would not have a cease-fire. if they succeed here, they can -- that is a sign in the writer action for the syrian government. that would be an interesting change in the syrian government position. but even if they do, how do you translate a freeze in this big northern syrian city into a broader deal? that is tough. is hoping that you can include some local arrangements, may be rebuilding the health-care sector, maybe reopening schools, allowing humanitarian aid. all of those things would be very valuable. all of those things are laudable
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goals and i sincerely hope they make progress towards this. but it will be a very far reach to go from that in this one a broaderyria to political solution. please, keep in mind that syria, before the uprising, was a highly centralized state. came out ofecisions damascus. all project decisions came out of damascus. all hiring and firing decisions came out of damascus. for this decentralization effort, which i think is what stephan is trying team, they areis going against the grain of syrian political culture and hearing government experience for the past 50 years. government experience from past 50 years. it could be difficult, given that this would require the regime to give aisling money for projects and -- to be giving
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basically, money for projects and rebuilding to the active opposition. i think it would be difficult for the four different security, and especially the secret police services, to accept handing resources to the people they have been fighting so bitterly for four years. that is one effort is underway, and we will see of the human makes progress on the freeze. separate from his -- i will just take two minutes. initiative russian that hind mentioned, where the russians brought the first leader of the opposition coalition from two years ago now . he's a very prominent imam and was at the main mosque in damascus. he is a wonderful human being and he sees horrific suffering in syria. he said he's willing to sit and talk with the regime. minister was just
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to mexico-- malala and the said that they would have to negotiate in moscow. no dates have -- two weeks ago and said that they would have to negotiate in moscow. no dates have been set. it's a mess the geneva process where the -- it is not the same as the geneva process where many americans and russians tried to come together to chart a way forward. this is very different. this is a russian initiative. it sounded clear that it will be consistent with various items of the geneva communicate -- que.uni how do you connect that to a freeze in aleppo? are not necessarily mutually exclusive, but the one does not lead to the freeze, or the moscow talks leading to a freeze. they might, but they might not. i was struck that the iranians
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reminded the egyptian diplomat that they, too, has a proposal between the syrian opposition and the syrian government. the iranian proposal is basically bashar al-assad would stay, there would be changes to his cabinet, including the prime minister that the opposition could more or less give approval to a new sunni prime minister with enhanced authority. i don't know what other people on the panel would think. my own experience is they would be very nervous about accepting that bashar al-assad stays with those four secret police agencies in place. would have state some kind of international guarantee that the deep state will turn around and imprison whatever people enter the government as a result of the iranian negotiation process.
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a lot of distrust on both sides. not just on the side of the opposition. and not without reason, as distrust of the opposition. and there is the wild contractor -- wildcard factor. it's a bigger factor now than it was in january and february of 2014. much less when the geneva comedic a was done in june of 2012. which is the jihadi's. the islamic state didn't exist formally when the geneva communiqué was signed. we were aware of it when we went to geneva, but it is much stronger now than it was then. they are probably not ever going to accept a cease-fire, much less peace negotiations. even the nusra front connected to al qaeda probably is not going to accept a cease-fire, much less a negotiation. these groups, this complete rejectionists are very present on the battlefield.
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they control more than half of syria already. there are huge challenges in front of the u.n. effort to get a freeze, and huge challenges to link that to getting something more comprehensive over the long term. >> thank you. let me ask a couple of follow-up questions. on the regime side, and on the national opposition side, bringing the conflict resolution, there has to be clear size that want to move forward. side, some people look at this truce as part of the regime's prosecution of war. they are overstretched, they want to move down to the south, where most of the progress of rebel groups is taking place. regime, how in your reading do they see a potential truce? to they see it as a next used to prosecute a war and other places, or do they see it as some people close to the regime
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say that the regime would like to resolve this conflict through cease-fires, keep us out in place, and pacify the rest of the country through truces and cease-fires? or is it something else? side, rightition now, it's very difficult to identify that there is a national opposition to come to any table. a year ago, week they are almost nonexistent now. certainly in the north, they are losing ground very rapidly. a much different scenario is taking place in the south. do you see that as transformative? north, thes have the regime has the center and the west, and their something new and significant the south, and if you tried to push a negotiation now, which opposition could come to the table and make any deal that credible with the regime? >> that's a lot of questions. maybe i will go upstairs and take a final exam.
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>> robert has to leave at 12:45 to catch a plane. that's why i'm grilling them now. >> just a couple of things. first, there's a lot of hard fighting going on, even yesterday and today, to the north of aleppo. the regime is trying to surround aleppo, and i think they are doing that. my sense of them is that they have a serious manpower shortage now. there are even afghan shia that the iranians have recorded on the ground fighting around the syrian city of aleppo. sign of manpower shortages on the regime side. tryings is the regime is to get tactical advantage before they get into a negotiation. the reason they do the cease-fires is obvious. they don't have enough men to storm these opposition bastions. just i have the manpower. ago,ntrast even a year there now small but noticeable
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anti-assad demonstrations, even in the heartland of his main supporters community. there have been demonstrations against the sod -- against assad. we didn't have that year ago. the community, not surprisingly, is exhausted, they are taken tens of thousands of casualties. they are not a big community to begin with. they are terrified of the jihadi's, with reason. they are looking for some kind of a way out here in i think the regime has an incentive to accept the freeze puzzle. if it leads to a negotiation, i understand why the foreign minister would go to moscow and say they will play along. i think the idea is not to negotiate the removal of bashar al-assad, rather, the purpose is to perpetrate the survival of
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the machine -- of the regime the cosmetic changes, and secret police agencies will be there. i don't know that they are tolerant of any reform. on the opposition side, as i said, i don't think the jihadi is our it all -- are at all of the mind to negotiate. in particular, al qaeda links nusra front is now in the fighting and aleppo. how they are going to get them to stop fighting, i don't know. there has been a thought expressed by some observers that if we could just get the cease-fire and aleppo between the regime and and the modern fighters, then they could join forces together against the jihadi. read is i you, my think that's never going to happen. there's just been too many barrel bombs, too many sarin gas attacks from regime airplanes, there's been too many chlorine
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gas attacks from regime airplanes. there was another one yesterday. much bad blood between the moderate opposition in the regime, if they are ever going to line up against the islamic state. the islamic state has killed maybe 3000, 4000 syrians. the regime has killed 150,000, maybe more. the moderate fighters look at this and say 3000, 4000, 150,000, this is the bigger problem. a nice thought that they would line up, but i just don't think it will happen. we think about who would negotiate, there still are moderate fighters hanging on in toughrth, and in circumstances, although they just captured two air from the regime in the north. yesterday, it was remarkable. they made some progress in the south, and i think these are the people working to go to moscow, they would be in touch with to try and work something out.
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in the end, i see that the jihadist could easily play a spoiler role. i just think it is going to be very hard for the moderate fighters to watch the jihadi's fighting the regime and just stand back and say that's not our problem. i don't know what the other panelists think. >> thank you, robert. let me turn to ken. you worked with iran, among other things. player at this point, given that it is militarily, financially, propping up what used to be the assad regime, now the a rainy iranian regime. more importantly, the drop in pursueces continue to the policies they been pursuing. as robert said, they sort of had an initiative from the beginning. see the iranians now,
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could they be part of the process, either unilateral russian iranian process, to fix it themselves, or if there's a nuclear deal to be brought in, bring some movement to the syrian political crisis at a higher level. >> thank you, paul. in a personal capacity today, not in connection with my position with the congressional research service. 2012,id advance a plan in maybe change a little bit now. basically a cease-fire, delivery of two military made, -- humanitarian aid, a national dialogue that would lead to free and competitive elections. the formation of assembly of experts for the formulation of a constitution, which is very interesting. iran has an assembly of experts.
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they wrote the constitution, and iran's assembly of experts is capable of actually impeaching the supreme leader. or choosing a new supreme leader, if you were to leave the scene suddenly. they've never impeached a leader, but they have that power. it would be interesting to see a syrian assembly of experts. and the holding of presidential elections, and sometime, no requirement that assad leave. i believe the opposition immediately rejected it because reasonably, under the iranian plan, assad could run again. there would be no requirement that he not run again for election. there will be some opposition groups, the process of stopping incorrect news transmissions, i
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suppose they are trying to say, in the propaganda come or whatever. and a committee to estimate cost of damages and reconstruction, so presumably, to get a bill to present to the international community, presumably including states,-to-do gcc although with oil below $60 a barrel there, perhaps a bit less well-to-do than they were a few months ago. -- iran advance this plan after defaulting in syria to its basic playbook. would you did in iraq also initially. let me contrast the two situations. -- when aybook is pro-iranian regime or group is fledtened, you immediately weapons to that group, you flood money to that group, you send
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the revolutionary guards to advise the group. you basically play with the people who support you. you do not compromise, you do not talkomise, you do about copper mise, you do not show weakness, you stand with the people who are supporting you. that is iran's default playbook. they did it immediately in syria. this was the playbook. support a side unconditionally. he is the president, he is the elected president. they call them jihadist, sunnis, whatever want to call them. whoever is against assad is a terrorist. has no legitimacy. get our littlen, protége his weapon. get them to go into syria.
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get the majestic support, fly weapons over a rock to assad, deliver as much to assad as you can. that is the basic playbook. in iraq, same thing. the islamic state takes -- payal, iran pants next, falls back to the default playbook. send them to baghdad immediately. revive the shiite militias that iran started in iraq in 2004, when we were there. iran set them up to fight us. after we left in 2011, the shiite alleges -- militias started running for the parliament and various local councils. takes mosul.tate the shiite militias get the weapons out of the closet and
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appear on the streets again. there were fairly effective. they had weaponry, etc.. , we, the united states, somehow got iran to deviate slightly from this default playbook. strong,rted out very supporting the prime minister. shore him up, help them. is, he was losing so badly, the iraqi security force collapse so badly, that iran was not certain if this default labor could succeed. calculated even though we don't want to be in bed with the great satan, united states, the great satan is needed in this case. to help shore up our interest in iraq. so iran ceded to the u.s. view that if you want our help, the
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united states help, maliki has to go. if maliki doesn't go, use do in your own juice. state help the kurds. the united states did not help maliki and the shia, until he left. and the supreme leader, even though he didn't want that prime minister necessarily, his preference would be to have maliki get a third term, remember, iraq was going through the elections, government formation process again, they had the election. the supreme leader set out, basically, the decision was, the americans are demanding he go. thised the americans in case, even though we don't necessarily like them, because he's going to lose unless the
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americans come in. himso they a seated to move out and have a body come in. because this is a panel on syria, can iran be persuaded to deviate from the playbook in syria, and go towards the iraq model. in other words, could they be persuaded to ditch assad, and i think, my judgment is it's a lot more difficult in the syria case than it was in iraq. very longtimeis a ally to the iranians. is the key to protecting iran's main investment in the region, which is lebanese hezbollah. iran basically helped create hezbollah. it's a stunning achievement of the 1979 islamic revolution in iran's mindset.
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done to that has to be protect hezbollah will be done. assad is key to protecting. that could lead to hezbollah's destruction, or in many ways, jeopardy. really iran is going to work hard to dissuade from its playbook in syria, which is unconditional basic supportive training, arming and they are recruiting all sorts of she is, pakistani shoes, afghan is,is, they are chechen she she is from all over the place, iran is summoning them to the syria battlefield. and so iran is really going all out. what gets around to change its playbook?
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-- iran to change its playbook ech? what gets them to change would be the fear, the perception, that is sought is going to lose. until there is a perception that us on is going to fall, iran will not change. this gets us into a whole discussion of what needs to be done to create that perception. we can talk about that in the q&a. white of the washington institute put out a great piece on the crucial role that assad's has played in this conflict. neutralizingthat assigns air force would strip the cloak, the shield that assad feels are shielding him. that could be something to talk about. anyway, as far as iran, they'll
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not deviate. thing that could possibly force iran's hand a little bit -- oil prices. iran is under severe economic pressure. they now have to prop up the she is in iraq, -- the she is -- and assad asq, well. they cap iran's exports at one million barrels a day. saudi arabia can sell more oil, nick up the money. if the oil price falls, they just sell more and make more market share and make up the money. iran can't do that. the nuclear agreement caps them at one million barrels a day. they are losing that money, crushing to the iranian economy. again, we needl, say theyuclear deal
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see evidence that iran is thinking through a plan b in syria. things they might have to change. it's becoming was just ugly difficult to supply assad now. the islamic state controls a lot of the land area. difficult for iran to even supply assad by air, because the united states and its partners supply over a rocky now. -- iraq now. iran'smber of ways, playbook is becoming constrained, and perhaps, iran might make a different occupation. >> thank you. many people have been trying to see if there is any daylight there. it seems to me -- i want a repression. -- your impression.
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isis is not directly threatening the regime, per se. it's solving a problem for the regime in many ways by taking out the moderate opposition, which could be a partner for real compromise. i don't yet get a sense from the regime or iranian supporters that they are panicking about isis. secondly, when we occasionally in the -- meet iranians, they often say they recognize that this is a losing proposition. but they can't go on forever doing this. own would like, for their interests, to find a way out of the domestic crisis in order to preserve the basic regime alliance and so on. were you could remove one politician in pretty quickly come up with another, in the case of syria, they say they
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don't not a do it. there is in any number two, or three, or seven, rate to put in place. it's a practical obstacle for them. it will be harder in syria to get iran to deviate. in iraq, we will find another dour person, take one out, put one in. get when they can live with. syria is different. you know syria different than i do. -- better than i do. it's only you can take us on out and find some other ally. a buchanan, but it's more difficult. about isis is exactly right. isis in syria not threaten iran directly.
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isis in iraq does. 25 miles from the iranian border. that's almost mortar difference. a little further. sure enough, iran conducted an airstrike 10 days ago, or so, there, where isis is moving forward towards the iranian border, isis could easily move east, a little further used, they could shell the iranian border guards. they could drive suicide trucks towards these iranian border editions -- positions. they could shell or rocket. isis is a direct threat. hesitantran would be to use any ground forces unless isis moves in large numbers towards the iranian border. but this airstrike i think is the first of what will be more
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iranian airstrikes on isis. >> thank you. major obviously is a regional player. it used to be the most diplomatically active. it had good diplomatic relations with everyone. but since then, they have taken a different position. they have become isolated in many cases. and yet, it remains a major player in syria. it's demand about a no-fly zone, buffer zone, are well-known. they are mentioned by some of the others. they don't see a way for without assad leaving. at the same time, the president just met with president putin. there is a relationship there. -- it'ss very close important to turkey. how do you see turkey and the president, and the current
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government take on the initiatives that are underway? and a big initiative they would want to go. sense, their a attitude towards this -- any feedback from the meetings on a moscow initiative -- would you share your thoughts about how turkey sees things? >> thanks, paul. before i go into your questions, the me give you a little bit of the sentiment inside turkey of the government, and also, where things have progressed in the last couple of years. turks, including folks in government, you these -- view these diplomatic negotiations with a sense of disdain. there is a significant sense of disappointment of not being heard properly. often, the comparison with the
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iraq situation, when prior to the invasion of iraq, many american decision-makers would offer a device that was not listened to. there's a comparison that began in syria. there is a repeat of this sort of not being able understood properly, that the turkish views are not taking into consideration adequately. looks less nuanced in a more fundamental way. the basic argument is with the sod, there will be no -- at least without a properly thought ,hrough security architecture of some sort of order, whatever resembles, it would be a waste of time and asources for anything to go
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we saw with the isis issue. the isis issue here played out in a different way, especially after the killing of these two journalists. u.s. public opinion is going behind more u.s. action. but the way it is seen in turkey , which has a 900 kilometer refugees,5 million now, it burden that is come close to $4 billion, and increasingly, a domestic political issue, where hundreds of thousands of refugees are now sleeping in parts of major cities, including the stumble, nbul. stumble -- ista it becomes increasingly an issue. onlyuffer zone is not geared towards facilitating regime change, but to stop further syrian refugees coming
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to turkish territory. and also possibly sending some back into syria. think all of us have short memories. iran with a day when i was in parliament in this all started. then -- turn just decision-makers had with u.s. decision-makers gave the impression, the idea that the united states would be in for a serious regime change idea in some sort of fashion. thingst know how transpired. positions of change for overriding reasons. with isis, the whole focus of isis without having the full --ard for what this race this place, in my view, iraq and -- as every day passes come out more difficult to put together as normal political
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units. i personally think it is impossible. i listen to the iraqi panel earlier. optimismouraged by the that this thing called iraq could still be considered as one political unit together. yes, there are constraints on many other issues that we've seen. until three months ago, these entities look much more loose and less real. lacking credibility. therefore, the need for serious thinking about what kind of order or security architecture there could be devised. i agree with what robert said. he is probably a talented and capable diplomat, but i was here in a meeting with him. the energy ande
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optimism that he carries. i don't the give will mean a lot on the ground. when it comes to your question a turkishpo -- from perspective from a freeze in aleppo would only be interested in a way if you would present the fall. forces -- the regime forces, which would mean the prevention of even more refugees coming to turkey. cobani issueie -- -- i would like to underline that i'm an outspoken critic of year to one -- of the policies from the beginning. there's a lot of negative perceptions developing the for good reasons. given the issues on press freedom, given the issues of just yesterday, again, the limitations on the media, etc.
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i think there is a problem with this perception developing, having an extremely negative impact on what turkey says from foreign policy, and especially on syria. areink these two things separate tracts. i increasingly feel here in the city, especially, that the fundamentals -- the obama administration obviously came into power with the promise of reading the united states out of afghanistan and iraq. a huge, historic tragedy. that the timing of these two political judges, coincided with the tragedy that we were experiencing every day. our first speaker, i think the emotion he felt his real. we live here thousands of kilometers away. but it's not going to go away. whether it -- whether president
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obama will continue with policy, or whoever is his successor, the statesdate has -- united has its status as a superpower, which remains. it's a country that can show leadership for a political/military solution in syria and iraq. as much as u.s. politics would like to evade that responsibility, or as much as for its own reasons, doesn't want to be part of it, we will continue to see the strategy unfolding. the belief that the sides will exhaust each other to death, and that somehow, yes there are arguments that the oil price will put more pressure on the russians and the iranians. so the stakes are fundamental and so critical as you described for the iranians. and also from the russian perspective.
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it's all about global governance, about russia coming backs a superpower, about hooton's own ego, -- vladimir putin's own ego, many other things. putin, you see with the europeans are doing in ukraine and crimea, including my government, we hosted hooton -- putin royally when we have thousands of tata ours in our country, we see the shortcomings of the tools that the gubler -- the global governance at the moment offers. many in turkey, especially pro-government sources feel that we are and syria is in one way a test case for that. where the global governance mechanisms that are now failing will eventually lead into something new. i don't know what will look like, over the that is something credible at all.
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summarize, and stop with the observation. the turk's position is really focusing on the fundamentals, rather than a new russian diplomatic outreach. i agree with how many of these syrian opposition figures will have a difficulty flying over moscow, who they know have been a critical country and vetoing syrian solutions in the united nations security council, providing military and technical assistance to a sod, etc. -- assad, etc. a sod has lost -- bashar al-assad has lost his legitimacy. he needs to be removed. we know the resolution is not quite happen.
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as in bosnia and other places, with a coalition of the willing idea worked. fly well inwill not congress or in any other place of the moment, especially not with the administration, but i'm afraid we will continue to see the bleeding of this country. we will continually see more refugees flow into neighboring countries like jordan, turkey, and others. until we see change here in the city, and that's probably not going to happen before two years. >> thank you. me turn it over to the audience. turn it over to the audience. i start to the extreme left. you need the microphone. >> thank you. on the lasttion point. if you take the initiatives that are now on the table, iran was not in geneva.
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meeting, hooton -- putin is over. ideapposition has put the that it could go to a moscow format if the reference is made to geneva one. they eluded the question. he refused to answer the question about geneva, when the man who you called asked him about the geneva reference, he said i leave that aside for the moment. which means that geneva does not exist anymore as a framework. at the same time, this is the only hook the u.s. has to the syrian crisis. the u.s. is a cosponsor of geneva. if geneva is canceled, by all parties, where is washington and all that? >> take note of these questions.
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i will take two more commendable get an answer. >> and with the american kurdish information network. considering the sunni shiite syria, and iraq and the distrust between arabs and wass in both countries, i wanting to reflect on the first chancellor of germany. today, he might've added a confessional line. why force people to live together when they distrust one another? is it right to wrap up states that are conducive to tyrannies? >> thank you. in the front. we will have another round. withwould like to fill in some information. there is so many information
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here. that national syrian coalition, a made it clear to them. i don't care what they say in public am i care about what they say behind closed doors. publicly, to them, the idea of assad out of power is out of question right now. at least for the upcoming two years. talking about russian totiatives, they want just come back now because of what is going on in ukraine, because of the u.s. action. they just want to play a role. any role. he was invited many times to russia. have been ton russia. the doors are open to all position in moscow. to go back to the cease-fire, or freeze of anything, it really struck me that they said in the
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same interview that he legitimized the percent of hezbollah fighting in syria. that's not a good sign. i don't think there will be any serious freeze in aleppo. it answers very important questions about the tourists in certain areas. us was theted with iranians. this wasn't the syrian assad regime forces. a delegation coming from tehran. iranians are a main player in these negotiations. the idea to talk about bashar al-assad is irreplaceable, this is really spoken's the syrian. 20 million inside syria, 20 million outside syria, there is nobody within the syrian regime were outside or with the that, he isanybody
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a replaceable. what if he passed out by heart attack tomorrow. syria would collapse? left, choose any of the elements of questions, quick responses. [laughter] >> i lived in syria. outhard part is to figure the process. [inaudible] >> volume. [inaudible] >> great, thanks. thefly, let me answer question where is washington?
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it's a lovely city on the mid-atlantic coast. [laughter] clearlyority is very the islamic state. reaffirm that last week in a congressional hearing. and so i think the american administration has given up any hope in the short and maybe even the medium-term addressing the bitter conflicts between the syrian opposition in the assad government. i think they just given it up. if the freeze is successful, despite the problems you mentioned, i think they will welcome that in the absence of any other physicians to take on the matter. i think washington is very concerned about the humanitarian --sis, and the humanitarian the united states is the largest
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donation of a military and assistance. largest donor for programs administered by the united nation and the red cross inside syria. it's not that america is detached from it, it's a sense that the administration is not willing to take the hard steps that can eluded to in terms of putting more pressure on the regime and on the iranians. and the american capital, maybe you are seeing things that i am not in the tea leaves. i since the administration's attention is focused on the islamic state, not putting more pressure on the regime. >> i just -- it's washington is focused, focused on isis, what is america thinking on the day after? let's assume we focus on the fight on isis.
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the day after question is still out there. i think the legitimacy of still there. even if you assume the priority would be isis, you have to think what is the day after? you adequately defeated militarily, i think the idea that isis is now out has propagated that it is difficult to see it will take a long time. let's assume you regain territory that's under isis control. mosul anden back other places. but would be the day after? i think the strategy here on isis is very much conditioned by the fact that the obama administration values the nuclear negotiations way more than the mess it feels it is influencing in this way alone. it doesn't have the answers. no one has the answers.
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but i think even if you assume that isis is the priority, but so you have the turks on board. but with the day after look like? that's absent in the conversation here. [inaudible] -- thempletely agree administration is disinclined to get involved. veryyrian strategy is dependent on local partners, local allies. they all have a very different priority than we do. -- congress just passed money for an equipment training program for vetted syrian rebels. ok,e rebels can simply say, if you just want us to fight
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isis and not assad, we are not going to cooperate. ok, we will take your weapons, maybe with the idea that we might fight isis, and we are going to do what we want to do. said,rks have already unless you change the priority, we are not cooperating. the saudi's have offered to host some of these rebels for the training. we can just simply say you're not going after a solid -- going after assad, the training sounds. without them, we don't have a strategy. my analysis is ultimately, these partners will prevail on this town, let's say. they are going to shift eventually, and we are in operation. out not like we are totally of the shootout. u.s. jets are flying over syria. things can happen.
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accidents can happen. i think it eventually, it will go in that direction of putting pressure on assad. codecs thank you. >> just answered joseph, there is a big bitterness among the there is no sign of helping the syrian people, with their tragedy. from the u.s. and others. and then there is the threat of isis. regarding the replacement of leadership, i like to take this opportunity to speak about two friends of mine that our leaders. they are great leaders, very moderate. they would be a great replacement of assad. where are they now?
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they are in syrian prison. we don't know if he is alive or not. least, there's not only the iranian infantry damascus, is a checkpoint for iranians with pictures of hezbollah. the city has been taken by the iranians. how theear about iranian did to their partner, i get jealous. i had to speak in behalf of the syrian people. years of democracy and freedom, we learn from u.s. schools. we get all these meetings, and we talk about democracy. for us, for the freedom, there is no partners with them.
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they've been left alone. we have problems for the syrians. do, when youeed to to think about the humanitarian. the tragedy of the syrian people. we have to find a solution for their everything to go back home. they talk about a safe place. they need to go and beg their friends and live in peace without buying bombs. this is at least the u.s. or western community should think about this so-called partners of people who pose for freedom. >> thank you. i have to ask my colleague about time. do we have time? i will assume we do have time.
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>> thank you for your analysis, research. i wonder -- i have a comment and i questioned her in the comment analysis,nder if your research and other around the world has heard whether a decision is made here or over the world? i don't think so. it's valuable information, especially the lady talking about syria. she touched me. i am an arab-american. the second thing i want to say is -- syria, some of you mentioned, what they need is a leader. a leader with the knowledge and patience and the charisma to lead these people. i asked, and i'm one of the first was to support it, even if he got 60% come it's ok. to start with. we don't have a leader. the change has to be from
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within. america won't change, turkey will change, russia want change. they all have interests. -- russia won't change. they all have interests. if they want to do something, they can do it. they could stop the war in the day come over there is interest going on here. i don't want to go further. this is my comments, thank you very much. >> thank you. i have been told we have two minutes. i will take one more question. gentleman the back. -- in the back. >> you. -- thank you. remindingfollow-up on everybody that u.s. planes are in the air over syria, and are active come and with slight deviation, some things might happen. were off record discussions that happened a few weeks ago about the fact that members of the pentagon are in talks with the turks about the
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possibility of what are called air exclusion zones, or no-fly zones. josh rogan have also published that in bloomberg. i wanted to bring in some of the views from the past when this issue did not come up. how would no-fly zones come up, the white house is worried about how the iranians might react at such an announcement? particularly in iraq, our military fighters are on the ground. we have in the victory that might be vulnerable to iranian militias. and also how it changes the conversation with turkey. >> thank you. let me turn to my panel. we have two minutes. comments? >> the problem is when they started, there is no proper communication. people do not understand what was happening. was, a few months ago,
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the u.s. coalition bombed the same place where i was. there were civilians there. people were confused, because in the morning, the syrian regime will be bombing the same area of the american coalition and nine. -- at night. people on the ground didn't get it. they thought there was some kind of cooperation between the syrian regime and the u.s.. we need to treat this as a priority. people are dying. they don't understand what is happening. -- you live to live your principles. you live your leadership. we have to put the syrian people as a priority. now, we need whatever we are doing -- we need to put them
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is a priority one. there is a tragedy that is happening. nobody is saying anything about the death of the syrian people. >> thank you. >> i think mr. assad, if there were a no-fly zone set up, i think you would not be too happy. i think if you look at it from , theosition, two years ago u.s. really wasn't doing much of anything. then there was a covert program training rebels. then missiles of started coming in. now this covert program training rebels. now this u.s. combat air operation over syria. then, if you put it on the ph, you aren a gra seeing steadily increasing american involvement in syria.
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in the united states has said a saudi must go. -- assad must go. be extremelyuld rattled by that option that you discussed. >> thank you. behink a no-fly zone would kens can underlined -- underlined, will be backing up what the united states says officially that they want to see assad go. beo-fly zone would obviously attacked, most likely, by regime forces. it would escalate, and probably would make the united states or coalition of countries stake and involvement much deeper in syria. which inevitably would lead to regime chains -- change or
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leadership change in damascus. the no-fly zone has very , such as benefits protection for refugees, syrian refugees in turkey to be able to go back into syria, etc.. politicale real meaning behind that is that the status quo is unacceptable. this would be a first step towards a new status quo. >> thank you. join me in thanking our panel. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> coming up, we bring you dr. anthony found two, joining him will be the former cdc director under president george w. bush. that will start at 3:00 p.m. eastern. we will have it life you here on c-span.
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>> this week on q&a, katie coverage. on what she perceives as the hypocrisy of liberals. >> what is your problem with ted kennedy? the idea back to where for this book came from, the 2012 dnc convention for they were showing this tribute video to him because he had passed away. and for training him as a women's rights champion, when he left a young woman to drown his car. if he had not gone back for nine hours and tried to save his own behind, she would have probably survived. you can't do an entire video at a convention claiming to be preaching and fighting about the war on women, and glorify someone like that while not including that part of his life in a video about his women's rights record.
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easterny night at 8:00 and pacific on c-span's q&a. to mark 10 years of q&a, we air one program from each year starting december 22 at 7:00 p.m. eastern. >> an update now on the shooting at a military school in pakistan earlier today. we were joined this morning on washington journal by a reporter covering that shooting. the headline at this hour from "the washington post." the taliban storm and elite high school in pakistan. the death toll has been rising throughout the morning. now 136. joining us from islamabad, the pakistan bureau chief for "the washington post." thank you for being with us. what is the latest? what happened? >> the latest is that after about six hours, the siege at an army high school in northwest
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pakistan appears to be over. about 10:00 local time here, about 6:00 -- six to eight taliban warriors come heavily armed, began to indiscriminately shoot students and teachers. they took a number of hostages. the death toll continued to rise. we are now up to more than 130 students, and teachers have been killed. it's one of the bloodiest terrorist attacks in pakistan's history. >> you say that the carnage has struck at the heart of pakistan's military. can you elaborate? >> this was a high school that was on a pakistan military base. pakistan soldiers are revered in this country. they are the top tier of social status come in many ways. they have their own schools. bothchool was opened to students from military families, as well as other students as well.
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the fact that the militants were able to penetrate into such schools really shows their brutality and their resolve in order to carry out this attack. army soldiers present we lost children this attack. in many ways, it's sort of pakistan's version of 9/11. we walked around in islamabad and other places, people were glued to the television. people were crying. they were shocked. this is a country that is used to terrorist attacks. it has a bloody history over the past decade of terrorism. but nothing rose nearly to this level. the 17-year-old recipient of the nobel peace prize says she is heartbroken by this latest attack. she has been a victim of the taliban attacks in the past. quite young people -- why young people?
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why 14-year-old, 16-year-old kids? >> that's the question everyone will be asking across the world in the next couple of days. in the large part for much of the history of the civil war, children have been off-limits. she was shot by the taliban, but you didn't hear about major attacks against students and children. the pakistan military has been conducting a substantial military operation for the last six months against the militants. they are now getting more desperate, lashing out in any way they can to cause as much bloodshed and brutality against most innocent victims. host: who are these taliban militants? what is motivating them? call


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